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All The World’s A Social Game

March 19, 2010

vcmike

The meteoric rise and billion dollar valuation of Zynga has made social games the hot new thing. So we should all be rushing to fund the next Zynga, right?

Wrong.

The biggest deal about Zynga’s runaway success, for me at least, isn’t that a social games company can be a huge business. It’s that game mechancis are now cool.  Seems like every Consumer Internet entrepreneur I talk to these days is applying game mechanics to make apps outside the game category more engaging and more viral. And I think this is a great thing. Game mechanics are designed to help people have a fun and engaging experience; what consumer app doesn’t aim to offer a fun and engaging experience?

4 Comments

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  1. March 19, 2010

    Cool post. Zygna has lots of best-practices that – when applied to other business models – have the potential to keep users engaged. Game dynamics are generally faddish though and rarely create sustainable businesses alone (Zygna is a rare example). A pitfall of the rush to gaming elements may be focusing too much on the game at the expense of a valuable product.

  2. Aamir #
    April 16, 2010

    This is very interesting, how social gaming is affecting how other apps are being formed. It shows the power of interactivity within the marketing realm and the closer you know something the better the chance you have to identify with it.

  3. July 6, 2010

    Compete with playfish

  4. Daniel #
    August 27, 2010

    I think the Zynga, and other recent social media successes, is broader than the addition of game mechanics to internet services. Its a shift in how people are using the web / the web being more media-like. Previously it was about faster, better than the off line equiv… or being useful. More relevant search, cheaper consumer goods/airfare etc. I am engaged with a service inasmuch as it helps me accomplish what it is that I came there to do. The next gen of social media is about users using the services for both the utility provided as well as the entertainment / delight afforded by the social element engineered in the service offering.

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